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HiFiBerry announce DAC+ DSP for the Raspberry Pi

  • The Raspberry Pi (Raspi) deployed as an audio device can often sound weak to audiophile ears. Its digital (USB) output is electrically noisy and the onboard D/A conversion puts the Raspi’s 3.5mm analogue output on par with the average smartphone. Not great.

    Extending the Raspi with a HAT board, like those offered up by HiFiBerry, can turn that frown upside down. Their DAC+ HAT (and its variants) pulls a Raspi’s digital audio up through the connecting 40-pin riser to execute its own superior sounding D/A conversion.

    Hifi Berry’s DIGI+ HATs work their magic entirely in the digital domain, outputting a digital signal via a lower noise/jitter S/PDIF coaxial socket, ideal for those already in possession of a third party DAC.

    The result in both cases is a decent sounding network streamer supporting everything from Spotify Connect to Roon for a hundred bucks.

    HiFiBerry’s latest Raspi HAT is the DAC+ DSP (€64.90), one that opens up the DSP functionality previously created for the digital crossover found on the Swiss manufacturer’s Beocreate 4-channel amplifier board that turns vintage Bang & Olufsen’s Beovox CX50/1000 loudspeakers into modern-day actives:

    We might say that the DAC+ DSP is for the more advanced tweaker user, enabling onboard upsampling (for those who want to do it client side and without a PC/Mac’s AU/VST plugins) or frequency response adjustment/s (for room EQ).

    Output comes via TOSLINK digital and twin RCA analogue. According to HiFiBerry, the DAC+ DSP turns the Raspi into a Burr-Brown DAC (or DDC) ‘on steroids’. Super advanced digital audio users can even tap the board’s I2S output.

    The upshot is a Raspberry Pi-based network streamer with DSP and digital/analogue outputs for just north of a hundred bucks.

    Adding sprinkles to this ice cream is a TOSLINK input that allows the DAC+ DSP to run as a standalone DAC or DDC, drawing only power from the Raspi below and adding interstitial DSP to a CD player, third-party streamer or games console before being converted to analogue.

    Pre-orders are being taken now. Shipping begins in September.

    Further information: Hifi Berry

    John H. Darko

    Written by John H. Darko

    John is the editor of Darko.Audio, from whose ad revenues he derives an income. He is an occasional contributor to 6moons but has previously written pieces for TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile. John used to live in Sydney. Now he lives in Berlin.

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